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New phase of positive learning for St Anthony’s School in Seatoun

Mar 27th, 2014 | By | Category: Latest News

School Mural

ST ANTHONY’S School in Seatoun is benefiting hugely under the Positive Behavior for Learning (PB4L) scheme launched by the Ministry of Education in 2009.

The scheme, aimed at decile one to three schools, is based on the principle of acknowledging good behavior, deterring bullying and encouraging positive interactions in schools.

St Anthony’s School although decile eight, was selected to pilot the scheme and has received $10,000 a year to run it for the past three years.

School Principal Steve DouglasPrincipal Steve Douglas (LEFT) says the school is excited by the changes in behavior they are already seeing.

Mr Douglas says traditionally a teacher would walk into a classroom and focus on the 20% of students who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to.

PB4L instead focuses on the 80% getting it right and the other kids therefore work out that it is far more beneficial to behave well.

Under PB4L, the school operates a token reward system where each classroom works towards a class celebration when they have achieved their target.

Mr Douglas says every time a student behaves well or does a good deed, they receive a token to add to their box and once full they get to choose a fun activity for the whole class.

“Kids don’t know what they don’t know,” he says,  and it’s about teaching them the desirable behavior and giving them the skills to be able to learn and interact better.

He says kids will call each other names and behave badly sometimes but it wouldn’t be a real school if these things didn’t occur.

PB4L, while focusing on positive behaviors, also provides a framework to deal with continuous bullying problems if they arise.

The principal says they have a method of recording when undesirable behaviors occur by tracking patterns of bad behavior instead of treating it as an isolated incident.

The system allows them to see if there are more incidents happening at certain times and places or with certain kids so they can implement plans to combat the problem.Confident kids at St Anthony's School

However, as a small school, Mr Douglas says bullying problems are not a pressing issue and therefore they are able to focus more attention on a positive culture shift within the school to interact better with other students, staff and the public.

Mr Douglas says the PB4L scheme is now well embedded within the school and as more secondary schools begin to pick it up, students will be able to continue the positive learning throughout their education.

“I can’t say enough about what it is doing for our school,” he says.


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